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Can you still get SSI benefits if you work at an "SGA" level?

Not all New Jersey residents who are getting Supplemental Security Income are completely unable to work. Many will either work or want to work despite being blind, disabled, over 65 and meeting the other requirements to get SSI. There are, however, concerns as to how the Social Security Administration will view people who are earning income when the amount is at the substantial gainful activity, or "SGA," level. Under Section 1619(a) of the SSA's "Red Book," people who work can still get SSI benefits.

With this rule, they do not need to take part in the trial work period or seek extended eligibility. For a person to meet the requirements, the person must: have been eligible to get SSI for a minimum of one month prior to having worked and earned at an SGA level; remain disabled; and meet all rules of eligibility.

While the person meets the basic rules to be eligible for SSI - including resources and income - the SSI payments will remain the same as they were previously. For those who are eligible for Medicaid, this will also continue. There is no special application requirement. The SSA must simply be kept informed as to the person's work activity.

The eligibility requirements and steps that must be taken to maintain benefits even if a person is working can be complicated. Those who are fearful of losing their SSI benefits, but who want to work, should know about this section. For this or any other consideration related to Supplemental Security Income, from applying to appealing to retaining benefits, getting the right information is crucial.

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